Tag Archives: organic farm

Homeless Garden Project food events in Santa Cruz

Tomato, Thai basil & mozzarella bites will be available at HGP’s Pop Up Store Sept. 1. Photo credit- HGP Facebook page

Homeless Garden Project has two Santa Cruz events coming up that sound positively delicious.


Friday, Sept. 1, 5:30-8 p.m.: Tomato & Friends HoeDown

Homeless Garden Project invites the community to its Pop Up Store for a “taste of the Farm.” Attendees can taste—fresh from the vine—goodies like tomatoes, tomatillos and padron peppers. There will also be special treats created by HGP’s Enterprise Manager, Angie Smith, including tomato, Thai basil & mozzarella bites and blistered padrons with avocado crema. Plus, enjoy live music by Anthony Reyes. In addition to being HGP’s Farm Manager, Reyes is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who plays traditional roots/ Americana inspired music while incorporating elements of classical, jazz, and blues. Read more on HGP’s Facebook page.
Location: 30 W Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz


Saturday, Sept. 16, 3:30-7 p.m.: Homeless Garden Project benefit dinner

HGP is holding an organic benefit dinner at its farm, the latest in its Sustain Farm Dinner series. Sustain is a seasonal gourmet dinner series featuring organic produce from the farm, wine pairings, and guest speakers discussing sustainable topics. This time the keynote speaker is Tom Steyer, founder & president of NextGen America. The admission fee, $150, benefits HGP. Read more and purchase tickets online.

A different chef will prepare each of the dinner’s four courses. Derek Rupp, Owner and Chef at East Side Eatery, will prepare flatbread pizza appetizers. Sara LaCasse, Chef Consultant for Earthbound Farms, is preparing Farm lettuces and herbs with pickled farm vegetables in ginger vinaigrette, while Passionfish owner/chef Ted Walter will create an entrée of chili-lime chicken served with grilled corn, Early Girl tomatoes and Cotija cheese. Aubergine pastry chef Yulanda Santos is providing dessert: zucchini cake with roasted strawberries and lavender-lemon cremeux.

In 2007, Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, founded Beneficial State Bank, an Oakland-based nonprofit bank that invests any profits back into the community. They are committed to sustainable farming practices through Pescadero’s TomKat Ranch, an 1800-acre cattle ranch that produces grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised beef. “Programs like the Homeless Garden Project are crucial to combating homelessness and ensuring all Californians have access to educational opportunities, job training and stable housing,” says Steyer. “In California, we have a responsibility to care for our most vulnerable communities, and that’s why we must continue to fight for progressive policy solutions.”

Location: HGP Farm, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz


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Santa Cruz’s Chaminade serves up new season of Farm to Table Wine Dinners

A scene from Chaminade’s 2014 Farm to Table Dinner Series. Photo credit: Chaminade Facebook page

A scene from Chaminade’s 2014 Farm to Table Dinner Series. Photo credit: Chaminade Facebook page

Chaminade Resort’s annual Farm to Table Dinner series, which features very fresh items from local farms plus delectable libations from Central Coast wineries, is starting soon. Want to whet your appetite? Read my recap of 2014’s opening night feast.

2015 Chaminade dinner dates:

  • June 26: Martin Ranch Winery, Coke Farms, Black Hen Farm
  • July 24: Storrs Winery, Fiesta Farm
  • August 21: Morgan Winery, LeftCoast GrassFed
  • September 25: Summit to Sea Wineries, Everett Family Farm
  • October 30: Alfaro Winery, Route 1 Farms

The cost is $110 per person and that includes hors d’oeuvres (served at the 6 p.m. reception), a seated five-course dinner at 6:30 p.m., and wine (served at reception AND dinner). Tax and gratuity are excluded. Call (831) 475-5600 or visit web site for details, including links to the wineries and farms that are being showcased. The specific menu is posted as each event draws near.

Chef Kirsten Ponza promises an exciting season. “We are very excited to be welcoming a new farm Pescadero called LeftCoast GrassFed,” says Ponza. “Also, Rebecca King will be coming back this year with her Garden Variety Cheeses.” I’m a big fan of Garden Variety Cheese; if you haven’t yet tried King’s products, or even if you have, I can only imagine the scrumptious and creative ways that Ponza will incorporate them into her menu! Chef Ponza hasn’t yet decided which night she will feature these, but when she does, it will be posted on the Chaminade site.

For people visiting from another town who want to stay overnight—or for locals interested in a fun “staycation,” the Chaminade offers Farm to Table culinary packages that include overnight accommodations for two, Farm to Table dinner for two, and breakfast for two.

Chaminade’s first Farm to Table Wine Dinner was held in 2008 with only a dozen guests. Now each event draws dozens of guests, and usually sells out quite a while ahead of time.

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The Details
Farm to Table Dinner Series
Monthly, June through October 2015: Selected Fridays at 6 p.m.
Chaminade Resort, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz
(831) 475-5600
$110 per person

UCSC Harvest Festival with organic food, farm tours, and apple pie contest

Demonstrations of apple pressing to make cider is one of the activities at the Harvest Festival (Photo by Weston Monroe)

The 18th annual UCSC Harvest Festival, held at the campus’ 25-acre organic farm, is fun for the whole family and includes an apple pie contest, organic food, farm tours, and kids’ activities. Admission varies between free and $5; general public adult admission is $5 but it’s free for
UCSC students with ID, kids 12 and under, and members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

The event is on Sunday, September 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s simultaneously a celebration, an opportunity to eat lots of locally sourced food including organic corn, and a chance to learn about a range of food and environmental issues. It’s co-sponsored by the UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UCSC’s Food Systems Working Group, UCSC Measure 43: Sustainable Health & Wellness, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

In addition to the apple pie bake-off (see rules below) and farm tours, activities include hay rides, face painting and kids’ crafts, garden talks, food and organic produce for sale, and live music. And you can sample more than 30 different apple varieties! There will be workshops on saving seeds, planting the fall garden, making kombucha and vegan wraps and burritos, and “cupping” the perfect cup of coffee. Life Lab’s “Food, What?” youth empowerment group will hold a sunflower-picking fundraiser in the Farm’s fields.

For those unfamiliar with CASFS, its research and education programs include the UCSC Farm, the Alan Chadwick Garden, and the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. The apprenticeship program is a 6-month, full-time organic training program. Upwards of 1,300 people have graduated from the apprenticeship.

For more info, call (831) 459-3240 or visit the CASFS web site. If you drive, free parking will be available at the Campus Facilities and Barn Theater parking lots, and a free shuttle will be running. If you bike to the event, your bike will be “valet parked” by local organization People Power.

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2012 Harvest Festival Schedule


The Ashley Lloyd Experience 11 a.m. – noon

Ancestree Reggae 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Bean Creek 1:45 – 3 p.m.

Singing Wood Marimba 3:15 – 5 p.m.

Workshops and Activities

Apple Tasting: Varieties grown at the UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Apple Pie Contest entry deadline 12:30 p.m.; winners announced between 2 and 3 p.m.

Kombucha Making 12:00 p.m.

Tours of the UCSC Farm 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Grubbin’ It Raw Vegan Style: Wraps and Collard Green Burritos 1:15 – 2:15

Seed Stewardship: The Art of Cultivating, Breeding, and Saving Locally Adapted and Open-Pollinated Seeds 2:30 – 3:30

Coffee Cupping for the Perfect Cup 3:30 – 4:00

Planting the Fall Garden, with Trish Hildinger 3:45 – 4:45

Official Rules for the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden Apple Pie Contest

Pie entries accepted 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Official judging begins at 12:45 p.m.

Winners will be announced at between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

1. The Friends of Farm and Garden Apple Pie Bake-Off is a nonprofessional baking competition open to Harvest Festival attendees (entry to the Harvest Festival is $5; free admission for UCSC students, Friends of the Farm & Garden members and for children 12 and under).

2. Contestants are responsible for submitting a written (preferably typed) recipe with their pie.

3. Contestants are responsible for supplying all ingredients and baking the pie prior to bringing it to the contest.

4. All entries in this contest must be homemade.

5. A representative of the Friends of the Farm & Garden will assign each contestant a number. Contestants should verify that the number on the bottom of their container is the same number assigned by the representative.

6. Contestants’ entries are judged on taste, presentation, and creativity.

7. The decision of the judges shall be final. Pie not consumed during judging will be returned to the contestant.

All pies must be entered by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, at the Fall Harvest Festival, UCSC Farm. For questions or additional copies of the rules, call (831) 459-3240 or e-mail casfs@ucsc.edu.